Lexus' new RX SUVs will stop you from 'dooring' cyclists

By dpa | 15 September 2022

LOS ANGELES: Lexus is preparing to launch its new RX on international markets, and the Toyota subsidiary has announced it will start taking orders for the luxury SUV in Europe in October, followed by deliveries in the new year.

Among the highlights of the new off-roaders is a blind spot sensor that only lets you get out of the car (and releases the electric door locks) when it sees there is no oncoming cyclists or pedestrians.

Suddenly opening car doors are notorious for putting cyclists in hospital, with some accidents even ending fatally, as the person on the bike often has little time to avoid colliding with the door.

In what Lexus says is a world-first, the so-called Safe Exit Assist feature "will detect a cyclist or other road user, alert the driver or passengers with warning lights in the door mirror glass and instrument display, and disable the e-latch operation."

The new Lexus feature builds on the company's Blind Spot Monitor, which has already been helping drivers identify potentially unseen cars and bicycles around them while driving.

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Lexus is also promising a new cockpit with large digital displays and a simplified operating system, as well as a boot with more loading length and a lower edge.

From the outside, the five-seater SUV has a somewhat more moderate design that is based on a brand-new platform. Although it measures 4.89 metres, it has 6 cm more wheelbase and correspondingly more space in the interior.

In addition, it is 2 cm lower, giving it a lower centre of gravity, which should benefit the driving dynamics, according to Lexus. The same goes for the rear axle steering with up to four degrees of steering lock, which the manufacturer offers for the first time in the RX.

When it comes to the powertrain, Lexus is taking a different approach than its rivals: while the German competitors in particular went for diversity in fuel and cylinders, there is no diesel or V6 or V8 engine for the Lexus.

Instead, the Japanese manufacturer wants to offer three different hybrid combinations to meet all needs - including all-wheel drive as standard.

The base model is the RX 350h with conventional hybrid, which, with a 2.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, has a system output of 184 kW/250 hp and is said to consume 6.6 litres (CO2 emissions 149 g/km).

There is also a plug-in hybrid for the first time in the model series, with which the system output increases to 225 kW/306 hp according to Lexus.

The battery of the RX 450h+ has a capacity of 18.1 kWh and is said to allow around 65km of electric driving. According to Lexus, this reduces fuel consumption to 1.2 litres and CO2 emissions to 26 g/km.


And for those who want a little more muscle, instead of a six-cylinder engine, the RX 500h offers the Japanese manufacturer's first turbo hybrid.

With a turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder and two electric motors, it offers a system output of 273 kW/371 hp, accelerates from a standstill to 100kph in 6.2 seconds and reaches up to 210kph, while the other two variants stop at 200kph. The only variant that does not use a gearshift system is the RX 500h.

It is also the only variant that does not use a continuously variable CVT transmission, but a six-speed automatic. Lexus puts its fuel consumption at 8.3 litres and its CO2 emissions at 183 g/km.

Lexus is not naming prices yet, but a spokesman made it clear that there will be no big jumps. While the current fourth-generation RX was last priced from €65,000 (RM295,000) in Europe, the fifth edition is set to remain under €70,000 (RM317,000).